Labour launched a “Make Homes Safer” campaign on the 9 November to pressure the government to put aside money for urgent repairs to old buildings in the autumn budget.
The campaign calls for central government to set aside money for local councils to retrofit sprinklers and other safety systems to their housing. In his speech launching the campaign Jeremy Corbyn said: “The evidence is clear: where sprinkler systems have already been fitted, injuries sustained from fires have been cut by approximately 80 per cent and deaths from fires have almost been eliminated entirely.”
In his speech Corbyn also said Labour was committed to recruiting 3,000 new firefighters, and a full review of staffing levels. He said “In the last seven years 10,000 frontline firefighter jobs have gone; equivalent to one in six positions.
“This is a staggering figure and is compounded by the loss of fire stations, equipment and the loss of almost a third of fire safety inspectors in the same period, with some areas such as West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, which covers the city of Leeds, having lost as many as 70 per cent of its inspectors.
“Indeed, because of the continual loss of firefighters’ jobs, if the fire at Grenfell had occurred outside of London there would not have been enough firefighters in the vicinity to tackle a blaze of that size.”
See also: Grenfell the fight goes on.